As my second spiritual call of the evening started, the host began guiding us through a beautiful meditation. Instead of inhaling deeply, I reached my hand down to the draw and pulled out the frying pan. A few moments before, I had a choice to make: meditate or cook bacon. I had back-to-back spiritual calls and had been on the road most of the day. I was hungry and had already meditated multiple times that day. I chose bacon.
In the past I might have chosen to nibble on something instead of meditating, but it definitely wouldn’t have been bacon. The more I learned on my spiritual journey, the more I felt like I should be vegetarian or vegan. It was encouraged by most of my teachers as being the highest vibration diet, and many of my peers balked at the thought of poultry and meat. So over the last few years I primarily ate grains, dairy, vegetables and small amounts of fish and chicken. Until this year…
Recovering from a few health issues, I had to examine my diet as part of my healing process. Through an assessment, I learned that my body functions best when eating fatty meats. Excuse me? Whhhaaattt? I was encouraged to regularly eat things that hadn’t been in my diet in a long time. I felt uncomfortable – like I’d be a fake if I worked in the spiritual field and ate meat.
I put aside my beliefs, and I experimented. I ordered a bacon burger (organic, no hormones, no bread, no cheese or condiments) before a baseball game. And I’m not going to lie, it was pretty freaking delish. Next, out with girlfriends (one of whom is also a client), I outed myself. Instead of nibbling on the usual shared cheese plate and side salad, I ordered a pork chop with bacon glazed brussels sprouts.
I began noticing changes in my body. My stomach didn’t bloat after I ate, which had been happening for a few years. I felt satiated but not stuffed eating this way. I was naturally eating less at meals and snacking less in between meals. (For the last year especially I felt food obsessed, like I couldn’t get enough food. Turns out I just wasn’t getting the right kind of food.) Finally, I lost a few pounds, which seemed counterintuitive since this was fattening food. Most importantly, my energy began returning and my adrenals began healing.
I continued learning more as my health continued improving. Many of the things I was doing the healthy way, according to public experts, was in fact harmful to my system. For example, peanuts are better for me than almonds, even though almost all resources these days tell you the opposite. Juicing the way the experts recommend isn’t good for me (drink alone and wait a couple hours before eating). Green juice is great for me, if it’s accompanied by protein. “Cauliflower mashed potatoes” are often suggested as a healthier option than regular ol’ mashed potatoes. Well, turns out potatoes are much better for my system than cauliflower. Grains are like poison for my system, and dairy isn’t much better. Basically all of the healthy choices I had been making were harming my body.
Here’s the thing though, eating according to my body’s needs and not my beliefs has been a process. Recently I was triggered. I was at my Kundalini yoga teacher training where a beautiful vegan meal was served. I chose to fit in with my fellow yogis over honoring my body. And I paid a price. Even though calorie-wise I had enough food to support my body, that afternoon my mind and energy were junk. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt exhausted. I couldn’t remember what was said a minute before. My energy was jittery. So the next day I went to Whole Foods during lunch for some animal protein. What a difference. My memory was sharp. My energy was good. And, I enjoyed the afternoon instead of feeling frustrated and spacey.
Today I can comfortably say I’m that girl who throws some leftover short rib in her eggs in the morning. And, yes, I occasionally opt to cook bacon instead of meditating, if that’s what my body is telling me it needs. Those decisions represent a shift I made – not trying to force my body into my mind’s definition of health, which is when I truly became healthy. I learned that when I trust myself (body, intuition) instead of trusting some outside resource (latest study, others’ opinions), I am relying on the best possible guides to take good care of me. By choosing to nourish my physical digestion and ignoring my ego, I am choosing to pay attention to how I actually feel instead of how I should feel. In doing that, I’m energetically strengthening my self-worth. Ultimately, it’s a giant way to show yourself some major love and appreciation.
Here are a few other things I’ve learned on this journey:
- How we digest food is how we digest life. What is your digestion telling you?
- While a animal-free diet is known as being high-vibration, my vibration (energy) is much higher when I eat animal protein, especially fatty, organic, hormone free, grass-fed chicken/beef or wild fish.
- Honoring your body in a way that supports your well-being and life’s work is a spiritual practice.
- What is good for my body isn’t necessarily good for your body.
- My client didn’t judge me. My fellow yogis didn’t judge me. When I stopped judging me, so did others. #byeego
- Now that I know what my body needs, I spend a lot less energy spinning and stressing about whether or not I’m eating the right foods.
- It’s OK to nourish your body (eat) before you nourish your spirit (meditate).
- I can eat bacon and be a yogi.